New Newenglish website

by Wendy Bebbington, Creative Director

Here at Newenglish, we recently embarked on a really tricky rebranding project. Tricky, because it wasn’t for one of our clients, instead we were taking a good look at ourselves to create the ‘new Newenglish’. 

In this day and age there’s a train of thought that with a dextrous use of a mouse, anyone can be a designer. However, because you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re one of the people who are either exploring, or have already realised that design by experts is actually a powerful tool and a truly worthwhile investment for any organisation wanting to not only stand out from the crowd, but express the essence of who they are and what they do. 

A well designed brand isn’t simply a logo or stamp, but an outpouring of a consistent brand personality. Recognisable, reliable, interesting and powerfully communicating; evident in every touchpoint that an organisation has with its current and future clients. This is why we have to really get to understand a client before we can create a brand for them.

  • What exactly is it they do? 
  • What makes them different or better? 
  • How do they value their staff? 
  • How well do they do what they do? 
  • What are they wanting to achieve going forwards? 
  • How do they currently tell that story? 
  • How can we do that better? 
  • What do they ‘look like’ now and what do they ‘feel like’ – and how will we change that?

Perceptions do matter.

A brand has to be authentic to the organisation, and what they are genuinely striving to be, otherwise it all falls flat if the personal experience of the organisation doesn’t ring true to what is being portrayed. Like the phone company that says they really care about you but when something goes wrong there’s no number on their website to get to speak to them.

So, a brand is as much about what you do, as who you are, and how you do it.

Hero our work

By far the most important role of our new website was to showcase our work, and to help people understand the value of good design. That is makes a tangible difference to our clients businesses. We’re proud of our creative work at Newenglish and want our new website to show both the high-quality and the sheer variety of our design projects. Using engaging page layouts, linked by a visually-intuitive project menu, we allow the user to navigate between our projects quickly and with ease.

We pride ourselves on delivering creative solutions for our clients every ‘touchpoint’, which often means our projects span different design disciplines. Take The Ralph Veterinary Hospital for example. Not only did we create their brand and design their website – we also designed the hospital interior, sourcing furniture, advising on the layout and best use of space, creating large-format wallpapers and delivering an internal wayfinding system. We also designed the external signage on and around the building.

The layout for our new project pages allows us to quickly tell the full story by ‘walking’ the user through this entire body of work, rather than focusing on any particular element.

User experience

As with all websites we make, getting the user experience right was key. So we’ve built the site on a simple structure, with visually-intuitive layouts and an easy-to-use navigation – meaning that anybody visiting our site can get to, and ‘hop’ between, the content they want to see, quickly and easily.

The ‘Newenglish perspective’

Another key goal of our new website was to maximise our blog.

Blogs give a great opportunity for story telling in a more personal and informal way. We want to use ours to air the thoughts and opinions of the whole team at Newenglish. We cover a variety of subjects from ‘delving in’ where we provide further insight into our projects and design processes, to ‘ways of seeing’ where we discuss wider issues in the design world and beyond.

We also added two new categories, Views from the outside’ where we ask a guest to contribute a post on subject of their choosing (if you’d like to be considered for a guest post please get in touch), and a category called ‘Vintage Newenglish’ where we dive into the archives to shine a light on interesting projects from years gone by (which still look great today!).

We’re hoping you’ll have a read when you grab your morning coffee.

It’s just the beginning…

We’re really proud of our new website and the way it showcases our work and our new brand. We’re already seeing some really positive analytics in regards to site traffic and usability too – but don’t just take our word for it, take a look for yourself and let us know us what you think.

Oh, and watch this space as we add more of our work to the portfolio section!

Love your new website – pleasing to the eye, lots of lovely imagery, positive, creative…just lovely. Well done.

Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board & Finance Director | The Ralph

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Festive Animations

January is a strange month. We’re only two weeks into the new year, yet Christmas already feels like a distant memory.

But now that the decorations have been packed away, and we all focus on getting fit again after over-indulging during the festive break – we wanted to stop and share some really engaging, and very festive, animations which we created for The Loughborough Schools Foundation.

The challenge

The Foundation asked us to create two animations which they could share on their social media channels. The first was to wish their students, the parents of their students, and their school staff a Happy Christmas. This was to be followed by a second animation, to wish them all a Happy New Year.

We just love creating animations, so were really excited by this challenge.

The thinking

Throughout December social media feeds are awash with glittery, Christmassy content. We wanted to create something that stood out against this busy backdrop. Something which was engaging and captured all the fun and excitement of Christmas, in a simple and classy way.

Importantly, we wanted the animations to represent all four schools and the nursery, which together form The Loughborough Schools Foundation.

Happy Christmas

As snowflakes gently fall against the deep-blue (on-brand) background, a simple, single-line animation enters the frame, forming the distinctive shape of a Christmas tree. As the ‘Happy Christmas’ message is being revealed, the tree becomes decorated with colourful baubles – with each colour representing the different schools within the Foundation.

Happy New Year

We wanted to create a consistent pair of animations, and for the New Years version to have the same look and feel as the Christmas post. To achieve this the layout remained the same, with the Foundation logo, background colour and message placed in exact the same position. However, this time the single-line animation would slowly reveal the number 2022, signalling the new year ahead. And instead of gentle snowflakes, we created a series of colourful fireworks which exploded at random in the background – again, the colour of each firework representing the different schools and nursery within the Foundation.

I love both the Christmas and New Year ads. Really fab with the school colours. Classy design but fun – perfect!

Director of Marketing | The Loughborough Schools Foundation

Just like our client, we are really happy with the execution of both animations – we kept a close eye on our own social media feeds over the festive break, and it was great to see the adverts ‘go-live’ and achieve our goal of being engaging and fun, yet finding a way to cut through all the other Christmas and New Years content circulating online.

To see more of the work we have created for The Loughborough Schools Foundation, click here.

The case for a Christmas email

A well-designed email can be the difference between an annoyance that clogs up our inboxes and a nice surprise when we check our email. At Newenglish, we believe email is an effective tool for engaging your audience and an opportunity not to be missed.

At this time of year a festive email is the perfect opportunity to engage your audience, clients, and customers. Not to sell. Not to ‘commercialise’ Christmas. But to put smiles on faces. To demonstrate your Christmas spirit and show that you do, indeed, to wish your audience a very happy Christmas!

Below are three examples of Christmas email campaigns we have created and they demonstrate how powerful email can be when using engaging copy, subtle animation, and clear messaging.

Newenglish Christmas email (2020)

It is our very own Christmas tradition to send out a little something at this time of year.

Usually this would be something physical and always light-hearted and fun! A Santa mask in 2014 caused plenty of merriment, and in 2016, we invited people to write their own Christmas story using emojis! But, in the midst of the pandemic last year, we opted for a digital approach.

With all the negative stories dominating the news cycles, we decided to bring in some Christmas cheer by creating perhaps the world’s first Positive News Generator! We shared this with our contacts using a Mailchimp campaign.

The email featured a clear call-to-action directing our audience to our Positive News Generator. As you can see the result is an interactive bit of fun!

We had a fantastic reaction! One recipient said this—

And the award for the most creative, uplifting and engaging Christmas email goes to……..Who else? But Newenglish!

Torr Waterfield (2021)

To bring us right up-to-date, here’s a fresh campaign we did for the fantastic accountants at Torr Waterfield. They tasked us with creating a Christmas greeting to their customers. It also included their opening times over the festive period.

Once again, we saw the opportunity to bring in a beautifully crafted animation:

Newenglish Christmas email (2021)

Our current Christmas email campaign is centred around the joy of a #SimpleChristmas. The email we created was interactive, allowing the recipient to vote for their favourite simple Christmas tradition(s).

Since this is still live, why not add a vote for your favourite #SimpleChristmas tradition(s)?

Engage your audience with an email campaign

Get in touch if you would like us to design a Christmas email for you, uniquely fitting your brand. It’s not too late! We can design and create a campaign very efficiently.

Tel: 0116 291 5375

A digital first for The Co-operative

Newenglish are very proud to have designed and developed the first ever digital Interim Review for the Central England Co-operative!

With almost 8,000 employees and more than 400 branches, the Central England Co-operative (CEC) are one of the largest co-operatives in the UK.

Interim Review 2021

The Interim Review takes a look back over the past six months, providing CEC members and shareholders with an update on the business performance and society highlights, as well as celebrating some of the inspiring work their members have been doing in their local community.

Historically, this document has taken the form of a traditional printed report, which over time had evolved into a simple online PDF. But for their 2021 Interim Review, CEC wanted something different – an engaging and interactive digital experience.

Challenge accepted.

Bringing the review to life

The benefit of ‘going digital’ is that it allowed for the Interim Review to come to life in a way that just cannot be achieved with a printed document.

Our dynamic design features many ‘moving parts’ in the form of animations and video clips – these not only add visual interest and brand personality, but also work as visual signposts to aid the user, helping them to absorb the content quickly and with little effort.

Informative info-graphics

To highlight some of the stand-out statistics within the review – like their 40% reduction in food waste – we created some simple yet informative info-graphics. Animated with subtle motion, these info-graphics present some of the key figures in an engaging and visual way, making it easy for the user to consume the information at a glance.

Moving image

If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video must paint a million! We incorporated engaging video clips throughout the Review, with each section beginning with a gentle, soft-focused piece of footage, relevant to the content. From the wheat field at sunrise, to the pride flag swaying in the wind – these clips help to set the tone, communicate the message and help the user navigate their way through the different sections of the Review.

Providing a good user experience

A good website needs to not only look great – it needs to function great too! It’s all part of providing a seamless and enjoyable user experience. We built the Interim Review on a simple structure with a clear and intuitive navigation menu, so whether it’s being viewed on a desktop or a mobile device – the user can hop between the different sections of the Review quickly and with ease, or simply scroll through it ‘top to bottom’ at their own pace.

Little details make a BIG difference

Whether it’s the calming motion of the objects as they load into frame, the way the numbers automatically ‘count up’ on-scroll, or the way the bar charts smoothly unfold before your eyes. The digital review is packed full of subtle motion which provides the user with a far more engaging online experience – we’re particularly pleased with Debbie and Jane’s animated signatures, which appear as if they’re being written on the screen in real-time!

Thank you for such professionalism and hard work throughout. I really appreciate it.

Brand Director, Central England Co-operative

Telling stories

The digital report shines a light on some of the wonderful projects being carried out by CEC members – supporting local groups, good causes and vital community projects. Our structured, easy-to-follow page layouts help to tell these important stories in a visual and informative way, using large hero images, floating objects and clear typography.

Taking sustainability seriously

With the environment and their commitments to the ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals’ in mind – moving to a digital Interim Review has enabled the Central England Co-operative to take a big step towards achieving a more sustainable, paperless world.

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the highly professional and creative work that Newenglish have done for Central England Co-operative.

Brand Reputation & Campaigning Manager, Central England Co-operative

Let’s co-operate, again!

We just love the Central England Co-operative’s ethics-led approach to business and the truly inspiring work they do in their local community, which is why we felt so proud when they chose Newenglish to create their first ever digital Interim Review – and why we can’t wait to ‘co-operate’ with them again in the near future.

Click here to see the report in action:

New website for Alex’s Wish

We were tasked to refresh Alex’s Wish website, to bring the site up-to-date and match their new branding designed by Newenglish.

We wanted to create something bold and colourful with navigation that is easy to use. We came up with a design that is clear and not too cluttered, highlighting the brand colours throughout.

Take a look at the new site here: